Superintendent’s Update to Families – July 8, 2020

 

 

 

July 8, 2020

Dear Ridgefield Families,

I hope everyone is enjoying a restful and relaxing summer.  2020 has been a challenging year and once again I extend my sincere appreciation for the grace, patience, and support our families have demonstrated.  Together, we are indeed much stronger.

The District continues to work collaboratively with our partners to prepare for the 2020-2021 school year.  I want to be clear that while many unknowns still exist, the District’s overarching goal is to return to “traditional” in-person instruction in a safe and sensible manner.  As we analyzed our stakeholder survey results it became clear that the District needs to plan for multiple learning opportunities, and that a return to in-person learning (in any form) may be more than some families are currently comfortable with.   We understand that some families may want or need an online-only learning experience and we are pleased to share with you today that Ridgefield will have an online learning option available in the fall.

Please fill out the Ridgefield School District School-Based Distance Learning Registration in order to enroll your student in the online-only learning experience.  Early registration will allow the District to assign your student to a distance learning teacher and allow our teachers to prepare for how to best provide this robust learning opportunity to their students. Please note – submitting a School-Based Distance Learning Registration Form confirms that your student will not attend in-person classes for at least the first Trimester (K-6th grade students) or Semester (7th – 12th grade students) of the 2020-2021 school year.  Forms must be completed by Friday, July 31, 2020.

As always, stay safe and remain #RidgefieldResilient.

Sincerely,

Dr. Nathan McCann, Superintendent

Ridgefield School District Hosts Virtual Community Forum on Bond Program

Come and learn more about the district’s bond program.  Ridgefield School District will be hosting a virtual community forum via Facebook Live at 5:00 pm on Monday, July 13th.  Note:  This is a change from the forum’s originally scheduled date of July 8th.  Please join us.

Ridgefield School Board’s Letter to the Community – July 2, 2020

 

 

 

 

Ridgefield Boosters Fireworks Stand Opens July 1st

 

The Ridgefield Boosters is hosting a fireworks stand starting Wednesday, July 1st from 12 noon – 9pm at the I-5 Ridgefield exit (old Park & Ride).  All proceeds will benefit Spudder Grad Night for RHS’ Class of 2021.  The stand will continue to open daily July 2-4 from 9am – 9pm.

 

Children and Families Show Their Appreciation for Meal Service in Ridgefield

When schools closed due to COVID-19 in mid-March, the Ridgefield School District and the Chartwells food service staff made it a priority to continue providing healthy meals for kids.  The meal service they implemented (free grab-and-go breakfast and lunch meals at school and satellite sites in the community) served children and their families through the end of the school year and has been much-appreciated.

Since the first day of the program, food servers at the school sites have been receiving Thank You notes created by the kids, and over time, the number of these thoughtful messages has grown steadily.  We are pleased to share many of them here.

Ridgefield School District is grateful to Chartwells for the exceptional service they provided to families during this challenging time.  Special thanks to Nicole Bartroff, Joanne Hazan, Vicki Mariso, and Judi Sekidde who were instrumental in getting the free meal service in place.  Thanks especially to our lunch ladies on the front lines at South Ridge and Union Ridge Elementary:  Stacie Andrew, Ruth Chumley, Jen Holbrook, Angel Slack and Amber Vesley, for meal prep & distribution and being there each day for kids and their families.

 

Ridgefield School District Seeks Candidate for Seat on School Board

Scott Gullickson, School Board Director representing District 5 in the Ridgefield School District, has announced his resignation from the board.  Gullickson has served on the school board for 12 years.

Ridgefield School District now begins a search for highly qualified candidates to fill the vacant School Board Director position representing District 5.

Applications are available online at the district’s website by clicking here: Application for Appointment – District 5.  Applications are also available at the Superintendent’s Office, Ridgefield Administrative & Civic Center, 510 Pioneer Street in Ridgefield, Washington.  Applications must be received in the Superintendent’s Office by 4:00 p.m. on July 13, 2020.

The Ridgefield School District Board of Directors consists of five members.  Each Director represents one of five geographic districts in which he or she resides.

District 5 boundaries are as follows:

  • Starting at the intersection of I-5 and Carty Rd.
  • Westerly on Carty Rd to Hillhurst Rd.
  • Southeast on Hillhurst Rd to 31st Ave.
  • South on 31st Ave to 209th St.
  • West on 209th St to 43rd Ave.
  • North on 43rd Ave and extension to Flume Crk.
  • Northeast on Flume Crk to Lake Rvr.
  • North on Lake Rvr to Bachelor Island Slough.
  • Northwest through Bachelor Island Slough to school district boundary. Counterclockwise following school district boundary to southern crossing of I-5.
  • North on I-5 to the point of the beginning.

The district reserves the right to extend the application deadline if necessary to obtain a sufficient number of applications.

The Board of Directors is the governing body of the Ridgefield School District.  Directors must be a U.S. citizen and resident of the state of Washington; be a resident and qualified voter in the school district; and reside in the director district which he or she represents.

South Ridge Librarian Engages Students in Learning with Online Voting

The shift to distance learning made teaching a little more challenging, particularly for classes involving physical resources—like the books in the library.  So South Ridge Elementary School librarian Emily Crawford got creative with a project that challenged her students to read, research, and vote entirely online.

The project revolved around one question:  Should Crawford weed her garden or not?  But it wasn’t just an opinion poll.  Before students could vote, they had to do research.  Are all weeds bad?  Are weeds ever beneficial to a garden?  Do weeds really take resources from other plants?

South Ridge Elementary School librarian, Emily Crawford, challenged her students to vote on the question: Should she weed her garden or not?

The students read about weeds online, watched presentations about weeds, and even went outside to find weeds.  They sent in pictures of different weeds and discussed their ideas with Crawford before they finally voted in the online poll.

Crawford broadened the vote by allowing school staff and family members to vote as well.  She even contacted Robert Munsch, author of children’s books like Love You Forever and The Paper Bag Princess, to get his opinion.  He said, “I like wild flowers, but I do not like weeds.”  So that went down as another vote that Crawford should weed her garden.

After the voting was complete, there was no doubt:  70.8% of the voters said it was time to weed the garden.  While not all weeds are invasive, and some can actually be beneficial, too many weeds in a garden can crowd and steal resources from other plants.  Crawford made a video so her students could watch her weeding the garden.  Now her garden is ready for summer.  And maybe her students will be inspired to pull a few weeds as well.

 

South Ridge student, Hayden Fowler, stood in a field of flowers.

 

Children’s author, Robert Munsch, voted online as well.

 

The voting results were clear: Crawford had to weed her garden.

 

South Ridge librarian, Emily Crawford, made a video as she weeded her garden.

Video Pays Tribute to Cast and Crew of RHS’ Theatre Production of “Cinderella”

Ridgefield High School theatre students were in the middle of preparations for their upcoming spring musical, Cinderella, when the threat of COVID-19 officially cancelled their spring performances.  To recognize the hard work that students had already invested in the musical, RHS teachers Kaitlyn Etter and Bob Meek collaborated in producing a tribute video to showcase the collective talents of the cast and crew in the making of the production.

The 50-minute video, created during the school’s shutdown, is a condensed version of the “show” and was recently shared with the students’ families as well as staff at Ridgefield High School and View Ridge Middle School.  It includes rehearsal footage of the group dance numbers with individual videos the students submitted (plus a little storyline).

Four seniors took part in the production:  Cecelia Lerner as Cinderella, Sebastian Rojas-Rincon as Prince Christopher, Katelyn Brown as one of the Stepsisters, and Jason Gasca as a member of the ensemble cast.

Other roles featured RHS students:  Kaitlyn St. John (Fairy Godmother), Sophia Miller (Stepmother), Cami McGravey (Stepsister), Peter Schafer (Lionel), Kaitlyn Williamson (Queen), and Aiden Baker (King).

Other ensemble members featured in the video were Tegan Petersen, Sydney Williams, Avari Harrison, Ella Ross, Kaya Felton, Summer Sedgley, Abby Brown, Josie DeBord, Caleb Ceravolo, Anna Vande Krol, and Clara Lewandowski.

The show’s creative team included Kaitlyn Etter (Director/Producer), Bob Meek (Musical Director), Megan Smith (Choreographer), and Aziza Mansuri (Technical Director).

The video can be viewed at the following link:  https://youtu.be/6LLk8LHM4O0.  Please note:  Copyright laws prohibit the re-sharing of the link on personal social media accounts.

Ridgefield Elementary Teachers Celebrate End of School Year with Car Parades

The last day of school is usually a fun day, with class parties, snacks, and games, but with this year’s shift to online school, making the last day special was a challenge.  So the teachers at Union Ridge and South Ridge Elementary Schools decided to end the year with a car parade through their students’ neighborhoods.

The teachers at Union Ridge were excited when they started lining up their cars.  “We should be loud!” one of them said.  “I want the kids to hear us coming!”  They were ready to make some noise with songs playing from car stereos, horns honking, and plastic noisemakers clapping.

The teachers’ cars were brightly decorated with signs, balloons, flags, and decorations.  One car even had a giant inflatable rubber duck on the roof.  Some teachers had the names of all of the students in their class written on their windows.  And there were many good wishes:  “Last Day of School!”  “Tater Tots Rock!”  “Have a Great Summer!” and even “Parent Report Card:  A+!”

The students were happy to see their teachers again from a safe distance.  In neighborhood after neighborhood, kids stood on the sidewalk with their families, waving happily as their teachers drove past.  It was a different way to mark the last day of school, but it was still a celebration.

Many thanks to Union Ridge and South Ridge Elementary School teachers and staff for finding a way to make the end of school special.

Teachers decorated their cars with signs and balloons to mark the special day.

 

Some signs recognized the students’ “graduating” to the next grade.

 

Families lined the parade route to wave to teachers.

 

Superintendent’s Update to Families – June 18, 2020

 

 

 

June 18, 2020

Dear Ridgefield Families,

Thank you! We braved a challenging three months together.  I can think of no better way to conclude the school year than by expressing my heartfelt appreciation to all our students, families, teachers, and staff who have demonstrated daily what it means to be #RidgefieldResilient.

On Wednesday, June 10 OSPI provided guidance on the opening of schools next year.  The District continues preparations for the start of the 2020-2021 school year and we are well underway for a safe and sensible opening.  Our team members are excited to see the return of students, yet we all remain well aware of the work ahead.  After losing almost one-third of our face-to-face instructional days, it is imperative to maximize our time with your students this coming school year.  Our children are counting on us.

Based on final guidance from the state, there will be aspects of schooling that will look different from those in previous years.  Cleaning and disinfecting procedures, drop-off and pick-up, meal service, recess, and even getting through the building will change.  In last week’s “Reopening Survey” respondents clearly expressed concern over masks.  Other families feel masks play an important role in keeping everyone safe.  Please understand that the current guidelines require all students, staff, and visitors to wear masks.  This is not a local district decision.  We will continue to monitor state guidance and will adhere to the current recommendations at the time of opening.  If you have questions or comments, I encourage you to contact policymakers and express your concerns.  For your convenience, names and contact information are listed below.

Legislative District 18

Legislative District 17

Governor’s Office – Senior Policy Advisory, Education & College Access

  • Maddy Thompson, thompson@gov.wa.gov

Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Washington Secretary of Health

  • John Wiesman, jmwiesman@doh.wa.gov

Clark County Public Health

The District is planning seven weekly camps starting the week of July 6. Each week we will offer different themes for the students. You can pick the week that your student would enjoy the most or sign up for the summer. Click on the link to the flyer to learn more.

Have a safe, healthy, and enjoyable summer!

Sincerely,

Dr. Nathan McCann, Superintendent

Ridgefield School District’s Summer Office Hours

Starting Monday, June 22nd, Ridgefield School District offices will be on a summer schedule:  8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday-Friday.  The office will be closed on Friday, July 3rd in observance of Independence Day.

The Office of the Superintendent will be closed for school business on the following days:  June 29-July 3, July 27-31, August 3-5 and August 10-14.

Regular business hours will resume on Wednesday, August 26th, 7:30 am – 4:30 pm, Monday-Friday.

Summer Food Service Program Offers Free Meals for Children and Teens

The annual Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is committed to helping families nationwide keep their children fed while school is out for the summer.  Through this program, families can locate meal sites that offer free, nutritious meals provided by organizations in their community for children and teens 18 and younger.

Use the online Summer Meals Locator to find free meal sites near you. You can also text “food” or “comida” to 877–877 (data and message rates may apply).

SFSP is a federally funded program sponsored by many organizations throughout the state, including schools, nonprofit organizations, local governments, tribes and more.  It is separate from meal programs operated by school districts during school closures.

After Friday, June 19th, Ridgefield School District will not be providing free student meals at its school sites or at satellite meal pickup locations.  Ridgefield School District has compiled a list of additional food assistance resources available over the summer.  To view, click here:  https://tinyurl.com/ycy92aak

For more information about SFSP, please contact the Child Nutrition Services Department within the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction at 360-725-6200.

Community Education Offers Summer Adventure Camp

Choose your adventure!  Registration for Summer Adventure Camp is now open for students entering Grades 1-6!  Choose from seven different weekly adventures offered July-August at Union Ridge Elementary, 9am-4pm.   Before/After Care is available.

Camps are contingent on Clark County active in Phase 3.  State guidelines and recommendations will be in place.  For more information, contact Terri Cochran at 619.1303 or terri.cochran@ridgefieldsd.org.

Register at ridge.revtrak.net.

 

Union Ridge Elementary Hosts Kindergarten Parent Information Webinar

Union Ridge Elementary School will host a Kindergarten Parent Information webinar via Zoom on Monday, June 15th.  Parents can choose from two sessions:  11:00 am – 12 pm or 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm.  Click here for more information:  https://www.ridgefieldsd.org/o/union-ridge-elementary/events .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Superintendent’s Update to Families – June 10, 2020

 

 

 

June 10, 2020

Dear Ridgefield Families,

As a father of two young boys, the past few weeks have shaken me in a way no other event has.  The brutal and unconscionable killing of George Floyd has sparked protests, a collective call for equity, and an end to racism.  “Where you see wrong, or inequality, or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.” – Thurgood Marshall

Our district, like society as a whole, has a long way to go to ensure equitable opportunities for all.  As you know, we are in the audacious pursuit of being the state’s premier district.  Foundational to that is the belief and commitment to providing a personalized learning experience for every student.  To get to where we aspire, we must embrace and serve all learners.  Serving all learners requires overt and consistent action to speak out against and eradicate all racist actions and behaviors.  I was sharing with a school patron the other day that I keep a copy of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “Why We Can’t Wait” on my bookshelf.  I read this book in college and it has stayed with me all these years.  Watching the protests on television, I recently read Dr. King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” again.  Sadly, it is as timely and pertinent as the day it was written in 1963.  That is nearly sixty years ago.  We can do better and we must do better!

Our District has not been stagnant in regards to our efforts to provide equitable opportunities for all students. The Ridgefield School Board adopted an Equity Philosophy (Policy 1910) in August 2018.  This policy serves to guide our work daily.  Additionally, the District launched an Equity and Engagement Committee two years ago.  Some of the activities and outcomes from this work include:

  • a partnership with Resolutions NW Educational Equity Training to increase our understanding of implicit/unconscious bias;
  • social justice training with ESD 112;
  • book studies (ex. Unconscious Bias in Schools);
  • implementing the See Something, Say Something Initiative (from Teaching Tolerance) in our schools;
  • participation as part of the first cohort in the statewide Inclusionary Practices Consortium, and more.

The coronavirus closure has highlighted obstacles that are not equitable and their impacts on each student.  As I have shared previously, we are moving our Chromebook strategy to a 1:1 take home model for all students K-12 to reduce technology barriers that some students face.  (K-2 students will keep their Chromebooks at school, but have the ability for those to go home in the event of any closure.)

In April, we began work to decluster our classrooms.  The goal is to ensure that our K-6 classrooms reflect our school district’s demographics.  Declustering is an important outcome from our involvement in the statewide Inclusionary Practices Consortium referenced above.

Finally, while we hope for a traditional start of school, we are working hard to prepare for any necessary multi-modal learning plan with equity as the focus.  The plan, which we continue to craft with members of administration and our teachers’ association, seeks to provide additional support to our students most impacted by the school closures.  We hope to have more information to share soon.

I’ll close as I began; while our District continues to make strides, there is still more to be done.  We are all the District and your voice matters.  We are committed to continuing our efforts, and we must meet all forms of inequity and racism head-on with urgency.  As Nelson Mandela so eloquently stated, “As long as poverty, injustice, and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest.”

Sincerely,

Dr. Nathan McCann, Superintendent